Doctor Who and the Doorway

Here’s the trailer for “The Eaters of Light,” the next episode in the current series of Doctor Who.

This season, Capaldi’s last, has been underwhelming at best.  Which is unfortunate, as I think he brings a great sense of balance to the Doctor.  At this point, though, the pieces haven’t worked together to create a greater whole.  A lot of things feel like retread.  Nardole is a bit of a mystery.  Bill, who has the makings for a great companion, hasn’t really found narrative traction.  The vault started out interestingly enough, but the Missy revelation hasn’t quite pushed things forward well.

So the show has three episodes remaining, two before the dramatically titled “The Doctor Falls.”  We all know, of course, that a regeneration is coming.  At this point, part of me is asking: what’s the point?  Perhaps the greatest long-term weakness of NuWho has been its reticence at embracing the show’s long history.  Sure, we get fun moments like the return of Alpha Centauri, but the moments that point to moving the story of Gallifrey forward just aren’t there.  Beyond some (ultimately) weird moments and an amazing anniversary special, we haven’t really seen an embrace of any real long-term sci-fi saga.  Maybe that’s the weakness of short seasons of hour-long episodes coupled with built-in reboots every few years.  That and the only other major story arc, the strange case of River Song, was wrapped up wonderfully well a couple of Christmases ago.

There’s still a chance that the show can pull it off.  Capaldi, I think, deserves better.  Moffatt, the show’s runner since Matt Smith took over, wrapped up the best of this story with River Song’s exit.  What should have been a victory lap for him has been anything but.  Maybe “the eaters of the light” will open the door to something better.

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